This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common illness of infants and children younger than age 5 and can sometimes affect older children and even adults. While the disease is not often serious, it is never fun when young children are sick. HFMD is very contagious, and it can spread rapidly among children who often touch and spread germs directly and onto surfaces like doorknobs. Hand, foot and mouth disease symptoms usually include fever, followed after a day or several days by sores in the mouth and a non-itchy rash on the hands and feet, sometimes with painful blisters. Some people may not show symptoms, but can still spread HFMD if they do not practice good hygiene. While there is no treatment or vaccine for HFMD, the spread of the illness can be stopped by practicing good hygiene, especially hand washing, and making sure ill children are kept home as long as they are still running a fever and until the blisters have scabbed over. HFMD is spread by direct contact with mucous or saliva, or fluid from blisters. It is also shed in the stool and spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or food prior to washing. Therefore, good hygiene is essential to controlling the spread of infection.HFMD is very contagious during the first week of the illness when fever and sores are present. People who are infected with HFMD should stay home, rest, and try to eat healthy foods, but not citrus juices. It is OK to treat the symptoms of HFMD with a non-aspirin product that may be taken for pain or fever. If you are concerned that your children may have HFMD, keep them out of school until they are no longer sick, and be sure to enforce good handwashing by encouraging them to wash thoroughly using warm water and soap after sneezing, using the bathroom, and before and after eating.Mark your calendars: Join Carson City Health and Human Services on Oct. 6, for our 9th annual Free Flu Vaccination Exercise. This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carson City Corporate Yard, located at 3303 Butti Way (between Fairview Drive and Airport Road) in Carson City. Go to www.gethealthycarsoncity.org to download and fill out your form in advance.Carson City Healthand Human Services900 E. Long St., Carson City.Call 775-887-2195.Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.Well-child visits: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays.Men’s clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays.Immunization Day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays.Douglas CountyCommunity Health1538 Highway 395 North (Corner of Spruce Street and Cemetery Lane).Call 775-782-9038.Clinic hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.Monday is Immunization Day: No appointment needed, 1-4:30 p.m.
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